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The Link Between Climate Change And Wildfires

The Link Between Climate Change And Wildfires

Context:

In a report, scientists established a link between climate change and fire risk. Scientists note that human-induced climate change promotes the conditions on which wildfires depend. 

Details:

  • Climate change increases the frequency and severity of the fire, weather around the world, and that land management system.
  • Recently, the USA dismissed concerns that climate change could be fuelling the wildfires in California that have forced thousands of people to leave their homes and have destroyed millions of acres of land.

Factors of wildfires:

  • The Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) identified the following factors that could influence the way wildfires play out.
    • The global increase in average temperatures,
    • Global increases in the frequency,
    • Intensity and extent of heatwaves (breaching of historically extreme temperature thresholds) and regional increases in the frequency,
    • Duration and intensity of droughts.

Key findings:

  • Scientists did not attribute any single event to climate change, mainly because of the difficulty in completely ruling out the possibility of the event having been caused by some other reason or a result of natural variability.
    • However, in the results of the new analysis natural variability is superimposed on the increasingly warm and dry conditions that have resulted from climate change, which has led to more extreme fires and more extreme fire seasons.
  • There is a big role of climate change in increasing the intensity and length in which fire weather occurs.
  • Land management also contributes to the wildfires.

Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC):

  • IPCC was established in 1988 by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO).
  • IPCC is the United Nations body for the assessment of climate change.
  • It provides a clear scientific view on the current state of knowledge in climate change and its potential environmental and socio-economic impacts.

IPCC's 5th Assessment Report:

  • It is about the state of scientific, technical, and socio-economic knowledge on climate change, its impacts and future risks, and options for reducing the rate at which climate change is taking place.
  • In 2014 IPCC released the 5th Assessment Report.
  • In 2022 the 6th Assessment Report is expected to release.

Source: Indian Express